Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

April 2018 Monitor In A Minute

Posted on 09 April 2018 by Calvin

Compiled by JANE MCCLURE

Midway Peace Park is the park’s new name
It’s official—Midway Peace Park is the name of the new park in the Lexington-Hamline neighborhood. On Mar. 21, the St. Paul City Council adopted the name for the park on Bigelow Ave. between Griggs and Dunlap streets.

The naming is a key step in a years-long process to create a park in the area between Interstate 94 and University Ave. The park is likely to serve many residents of the nearby Skyline Tower high-rise apartment building.

The property served as auto storage for many years for Midway area motor vehicle sales businesses but has sat largely vacant for more than a decade. Students at nearby Gordon Parks High School were among the first to call for the area to become a park.

The city has worked with the nonprofit Trust for Public Land to help fund the land purchase and park planning. The name itself has been in the works for more than a year and was winnowed down from a list of five park names.

More than 500 people voted on the park name, which has support from Lexington-Hamline Community Council, Union Park District Council and the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission. All the participants worked with the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation to follow a city-approved naming process.

After joking about the possible name “City Council Park,” Ward One Council Member Dai Thao said he is pleased with the community process that led up to the name choice. Lexington-Hamline, Skyline Tower, and Trust for Public Land representatives thanked the city for its help with the naming process.

Noise wall is planned in 2022?
A noise wall on the south side of Interstate 94, between Fairview and Prior avenues, won a vote of support Mar. 7 from the St. Paul City Council.

The project is being planned and built by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). The state is responsible for the freeway as well as for noise abatement along it. MnDOT controls the study, design, and building of the wall.

Construction is tentatively eyed for the year 2022. MnDOT held a meeting on the project in fall 2017. Property owners who would be directly affected by the wall could vote on the proposal to both MnDOT and the city. Votes were in support of the noise wall, so the work will proceed.

The city is supporting the project and will participate in the costs of engineering and wall construction. The costs aren’t determined yet but would be covered through the MnDOT Metro Division’s Highway Noise Abatement Program and the city’s Long-Range Capital Improvement Budget Process. The cost split is 90 percent MnDOT and 10 percent city.

Changes for Interstate 94?
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) Metro District Corridors of Commerce has several potential projects that could change Interstate 94 in the future.

The St. Paul City Council Mar. 21 approved those and other state highway projects suggested in St. Paul. More than a dozen projects are proposed citywide. Choices will be announced later this year.

More than half a dozen projects in the proposal are along I-94 from the downtown area to the west city limits with Minneapolis. One change would be to add a MnPASS lane between the I-35W junction in Minneapolis and the I-35E junction in St. Paul. MnPASS is an electronic toll collection system operated by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

A second local request is to reconstruct the I-94 and Highway 280-Franklin Ave. interchanges. This would include southbound Hwy. 280 access to the Cretin Ave. exit, eliminate/replace left side I-94 ramps and revise the Franklin Ave. interchange for better freight connections.

Not all projects can be funded through what is a $400 million pool statewide. Support from cities and counties gives projects extra points as they compete.
Restaurant wins licenses

A new restaurant in the West Midway has received St. Paul City Council approval for needed licenses. Liquor on-sale and on-sale Sunday licenses were among those approved Mar. 21 for Hodges Bend, 2700 University Ave. W.

The application had the support of the St. Anthony Park Community Council, but a letter of objection from a neighboring property owner sent the request to a legislative hearing officer. The business is in an area that has many adjacent condos and apartments, and concerns were raised about patron noise. A legislative hearing was held in Feb.

The licenses were approved with several conditions. One is that Hodges Bend operates as a restaurant and not as a bar. Another is that closing is at midnight, with all patrons out of the premises by 12:30am.

Hodges Bend cannot add outdoor seating or allow liquor consumption outdoors until there have been additional approvals.

Capital Watershed District

Discovery Club

St. Paul Ballet

Chanhassen Dinner Theater

U of M Brain Study


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